How To Easily Root Plants In Water With Cuttings

Do you ever root plants in water? It’s a great way to propagate you plants. I’ve done this with houseplants many times and today I’ll show you a couple. You can do this with many types of plants. It’s so easy and requires little effort so why not give it a try.

Root Plants In Water With Cuttings

Root plants in water from cuttings

Two of my houseplants were looking poorly so I took a leaf cutting from each and placed them on the windowsill of my kitchen. This window gets some light but it is not bright light. Make sure you change the water regularly, at least every few days.

Old over crowded African Violet.

Here’s a picture of the African Violet which has three crowns and really needed to be re-potted.

Separated crowns of African Violet

In addition to the leaf cutting I gently pulled apart the three crowns, pulling off all the older dead leaves, and potted them up in their own soil. If you want to take it a step further you could place them in a little makeshift greenhouse by using a plastic zip bag to help keep the humidity high especially while they are getting established.

African Violet & Begonia cuttings in glass of water

After several weeks the two leaves have grown a nice set of roots, and you can see new baby leaves growing at the base of the leaves. 

African Violet leaf with new plant growth

How cute is this baby African Violet plant grow from the leaf cutting.

Begonia leaf rooted in water

Here’s a look at the Rex Begonia, the leaves are smaller but you can see a couple of pretty red ones just starting to grow.

Potted new growth from African Violet leaf cutting

Now all you have to do is pot the new plants in their own pots. Use a good fresh potting soil or even a soilless mix.

Potted new growth on begonia cutting

 You can cut back the original leaf at this time. Place the pots back in the same area where they grew their roots, and allow them to get established. Here you could also place the pot in a zip bag for extra humidity somewhat like a greenhouse while they are setting roots. Water as needed but take special care not to let them dry out, and be sure to allow them to drain thoroughly when watered.

Grow of new plants after one week originally rooted in water.

Here’s what they look like after one week.

asy Layering Plant Propation - Lavender

Another super easy way to root shrubs is through layering. You can read an article dedicated to layering plants here.

Just think how much fun it could be to grow new plants for free. You could then give them out to your friends and family. Conversely, the next time you see a beautiful plant at your friend or neighbor’s house, ask them for a cutting. That way you can easily grow a new beauty of your own.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. This is awesome and I have to say that propagating is one of my favorite things to do in the garden. If you can believe I don’t have any house plants but I have enjoyed using this same method with some of my outdoor plants, worked great with my savory and lemon balm .

    • Hi Carole,

      I’m sure you have done this many times as so many have but I was thinking maybe some people may have not tried it so I decided to share since it is sooo easy.
      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

  2. I have learned to place plants in water by following the lead of my mom. She loved to put sweet potatoes in water!…I recently placed some Calla Lilies in water…I cut them from the plant and put them in a clear vase. We went away for a couple of weeks and when we got back I noticed that the lilies were rooting! Had no idea that they would!…

  3. Heather Muir says:

    Really interesting many thanks x

  4. It works great for impatient as well. I’ve made dozens of new plants by rooting. Have never tried the plastic bag trick. Will try it tomorrow. Thanks. I have had them die after I put the rooted plants in soil. I think it’s because they stay to wet but not sure. Still learning.

    • Hi Donna,

      I do think some plants are easier than others. There could be many factors. The biggest one is bacteria in the soil.The roots were grown in pure water and then introduced to the soil, and though I am often guilty of using whatever I have a good clean soilless mix or lightweight fresh potting soil is probably best.

      By the way, I have killed many plants for a variety of reasons, and I know many gardeners who can say the same so don’t feel bad and definitely keep on trying!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

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